The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Update for Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Iraqi forces push northward from their foothold in eastern Mosul into the Tahrir neighborhood. As civilians flee, a mortar attack from IS held-territory injures 5 children, one of whom later dies. (The story is a bit garbled on this point but the child's death has been reported elsewhere.)

Newsweek has photos of the destruction of the archaelogical treasures of Nimrud. (For some reason the URL refers to Palmyra but the story is about Nimrud.)

Shiite militia says it is about to storm Tal Afar airbase west of Mosul.

A special report from Reuters says IS leadership in Mosul is succumbing to paranoia which is weakening their effectiveness. (I'm not sure if it's really paranoia, apparently the city really is full of informants who are in contact with coalition forces and has faced one or more coup plots.) They have banned possession of SIM cards and executed dozens of real or suspected spies. Baghdadi is said to be in the city, moving around constantly.

Matt Bradley of NBC News also has an account of life inside Mosul. As the assault on the city became imminent, senior IS leaders fled, leaving the city largely in charge of young thugs who terrorize the population.

Suicide bomb attack on a military base in Rutba is largely thwarted but one bomber manages to kill 3 soldiers.


Suicide bomb attack in Kabul kills 1 army officer and 5 civilians,  5 civilians and 5 soldiers are injured.

Suicide bomber kills four staff of the National Directorate of Intelligence in Kabul

Summary justice and violence against women are rampant in Ghor where the government has failed to extend civil institutions.

Afghan forces free 36 prisoners from Taliban in Helmand.

The International Criminal Court has announced that it may investigate U.S. forces for war crimes committed against Afghan prisoners who were tortured in 2003 and 2004. (One may ask why this is happening now, since the allegations have long been known to be true.) The U.S. State Department has denounced the investigation.


umer said...

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